Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Need For Speed

Most of the people reading this blog are probably family or friends and have at least some knowledge of what I've been through over the past year. If you don't know, I'll give you the short version. I was diagnosed last November with Cushing's Disease, meaning that a tumor had been found in my pituitary gland. This tumor caused the pituitary gland to tell my adrenal glands to produce more cortisol than I really needed. Because the symptoms were not extreme it took quite a while to diagnose. After experiencing the symptoms for several years, I had finally found my way to a fantastic Endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. B., who ran test after test and at times, took more blood from me than I even knew I had to give! I had surgery to remove the tumor on January 7th. Even though my surgeons did a great job, I stayed in the hospital for 5 days and I ended up in the emergency room a few days later because of complications. I'm feeling much better now and taking everything one day at a time.

I couldn't work out, at all, for a month after the surgery and then it was still a while before I could run or really do anything that would create physical stress. It was difficult, but I was so tired and worn out that at least for a while, I wouldn't have been able to do anything anyway. Before my surgery I had a 39:33 PR on a 5M (7:54 per mile) and that is the pace that remains on my NYRR bib each time I line up. My pace is no where near that anymore. My time has slowed so much it's almost incredible. I can still run at a good pace, but I just can't keep up like I could before. It's really amazing how much it took out of me.

I've been bad about speed work this year. I set my PR and had several races under 8 minute miles after I had completed a running class through NYRR. But because I've been focusing on endurance this year and I've been afraid to push too hard (thinking "what if the incision tears again?!) I have hardly done any speed work this year at all. Until this morning.

After reading a few running blogs, I decided to try it on a treadmill at the gym. I haven't been on one since recovery. It makes sense to do it this way though since there are no flat, uninterrupted paths for speed work in the park. Even the track around the reservoir is filled with people and has its share of dips. Well, the workout went well. Not fantastic, but well. I pushed myself harder than I have for a while but I didn't go crazy. I only did 4 repeats - 1x800 and 3x400, and then I got on an elliptical for a bit after my cool down. I feel pretty good and am encouraged to do it again next week and go a little further. Even on the walk to the gym this morning with my muscle man husband, I was second guessing my plan, but I followed through and feel confident I can do it again. Hopefully I'm not too late and a few workouts like this will help me get through the 26.2 miles I have ahead of me.

But for tomorrow, it's back to the park.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Love you. I know you want to speed up , but you have your entire life in front of you.